STAFF and students at Trafford's schools have been advised to wear face masks in response to rocketing coronavirus cases – and there are changes to guidelines issued just last week.

On Friday afternoon, Trafford Council revealed there are outbreaks at almost 30 schools, with the case rate in the borough up to 618 per 100,000 people in the week up to last Sunday.

In response, it is advising staff in primary schools, plus staff and students in secondary schools, to wear face masks when moving around.

It is also asking parents to wear face masks when dropping off and picking up their children.

This is at odds with advice in the rest of England, where face masks do not need to be worn.

Furthermore, in a turnaround on guidelines issued just last week, Trafford Council is no longer advising children to stay at home if a household member tests positive for coronavirus.

Now, rather than taking a PCR Test on day three of the household member's symptoms, children are asked to do daily Lateral Flow Tests for 10 days after the household member's symptoms started.

Explaining the reason for the turnaround, Trafford's acting director of public health Helen Gollins suggested it was the best way to tackle the case rate in the borough while keeping children in school.

Ms Gollins, who is standing in for Eleanor Roaf, said: "Sadly, our Covid-19 case rate in Trafford is very high and it continues to rise. With these measures, we hope to reduce the number of cases in schools so children can continue to attend lessons.

"I must thank our school staff for the excellent job they continue to do in such difficult circumstances and I hope parents will support these new measures as we try to reduce infections in the borough."

The Messenger has asked the Department for Education for a comment.